Hopi Pueblo Female Social Dancer Katsina Doll Carving


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Ray Naha, Hopi-Tewa Carver

Hopi Pueblo Carvings: The Artistic Intersection of Katsina Dolls and Social Dancers

The rich mixture of Hopi Pueblo carvings presents a fascinating array of figures, most notably the revered katsina dolls. However, a unique subset of these carvings portrays non-katsina dancers, often referred to as social dancers. Despite their representation of dancers rather than katsinas, collectors widely accept these figures as katsina dolls.

These female social dancers bear a striking resemblance to Momoyam or female katsina, yet they are not. They represent social dancers or members of women's societies, adding a layer of cultural depth to their artistic representation.

The spectrum of non-katsina carvings extends beyond social dancers, encompassing popular figures such as Snake Dancers, Apache Gaan Dancers, Kosahri Clowns, and the Buffalo Maiden.

A notable example of this artistry is a carving by Hopi-Tewa carver Ray Naha, representing the female Buffalo Dancer. This figure, devoid of a mask, has her face obscured by her hair. She is dressed in the traditional Hopi hand-woven manta and white buckskin moccasins. Atop her head is a stunning display of mixed feathers and a carved squash blossom, which she carries in both hands. Although she leans forward, she is not in the motion of dance. Instead, she stands unaided, exuding a sense of stability and grace. This carving displays the intricate craftsmanship and cultural significance inherent in Hopi Pueblo art.

Artist signature of Ray Naha (b. 1977) Hopi-Tewa Carver

The name R. Naha is painted on the left foot.

Ray Naha (b.1977- ) is from the village of Sichomovi on the Hopi Reservation. He is not to be confused with Raymond Naha (1930-1976), the well-known painter, who was grandfather of Ray Naha, for whom the younger Naha was named.  Naha started carving in his teenage years and is now known as one of the finest of carvers today. This carving is an excellent example of his earlier works.

Condition: very good condition

Provenance: this Hopi Pueblo Female Social Dancer Katsina Doll Carving is from the collection of a client from New Jersey

Reference: Hopi Kachinas: The Complete Guide to Collecting Kachina Dolls by Barton Wright

TAGS: Daisy Hooee NampeyoNampeyo of HanoAnnie HealingRaymond Naha (1930-1976)Native American PaintingsHopi PuebloKatsina DollsRay Naha

Alternate close up view of the face of this Hopi Pueblo carving.

Ray Naha, Hopi-Tewa Carver
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